Golden Shovel after Gwendolyn Brooks ‘We real cool
A tribute to Khadija Saye 1992 – 2017
Gambian-British artist and photographer

She bubbles laughter and we
are captivated, caught by real
joy in her happiness. So cool –
I’m an artist! Rock my blessings. We
watch images emerge, rituals left
behind, corn-row crowns at school.
Dwelling in this space we
breathe. Shadows lurk
in liquid and form too late
for us to understand. We
cannot ask her now. From strike
to blaze the fire burned straight
through twenty floors. We
watch destruction. Sing
our sadness, talk of sin
and retribution: thin
lipped councillors who drink their gin
and give no answers when we
ask, Why did Khadija die? Jazz
notes echo in a blackened June
Pray for me, it’s in my room. We
watch her promise die
too soon.



Anne Symons began writing poetry in 2015 at the age of 70. Her work has appeared in a range of poetry publications, both online and print. She has recently completed an MA in Writing Poetry at Newcastle University and the Poetry School in London.

‘We real cool’ can be found here.